Here at Sonicbids, we’re always happy to see our musicians succeed. We’ve started this series, Sonicbids Success Stories, as an opportunity to highlight our artists’ achievements, hear their stories and get their advice and insight on an ever changing industry.
Recently we sat down with Adam Kahn, bassist of the newly signed, New York bred ‘Seagaze’ band, The Foxfires. Adam said he’d had a downright hectic day, squeezing in some time while in the car, GPS directions intermittently sounding in the background as we talked.
Adam’s tone quickly shifted, however, into that of cheery optimism. Bright and engaging, he talked at length on the importance of “staying the course”, the lessons learned in overcoming strife and bringing positivity to a world and industry that batters you with negativity.
Founded in 2013 the Foxfires met when their singer Christian Diana and guitarist Christian Cordero met at an open mic in Ridgewood, New Jersey. They put out their first single “Common Culture” in late 2013, briefly signed to an independent label, cycled through a few initial band members and finally rebranded as The Foxfires of today.
Unhappy with their trajectory, Adam took on the management duties of the group and, at the suggestion of their lead singer, put his efforts into crafting a Sonicbids EPK. Adam was elated with what came next for The Foxfires.
“Honestly within the first year [Sonicbids] got us onto Pittsburgh Pride, we were doing conferences, we had radio opportunities. I think the first step of any good band is definitely have your music situation fixed and straight first and just to have a medium like Sonicbids to put it all on, and get the word out and have something where you can showcase who you are for the world...it’s beautiful.”
Adam continued, upbeat as ever. “Everyone wants to say that the music business is completely impossible, but I don’t think it’s impossible. I think that people just aren’t exploring as many mediums as they could and Sonicbids has been one of the most helpful for us, it really has.”
With Pittsburgh Pride Festival and playing alongside Jennifer Hudson under their belt, The Foxfires skyrocketed, headlining Pex: Summer Fest and performing at PVD Festival, The TCS NYC Marathon, Northside Festival, Millennium Music Conference, Singer-Songwriter Cape May Conference, Newburgh Illuminated Festival, Valley Festival, East Coast Music Conference and others.
Adam delved into the importance of collaborative festivals like East Coast Music Conference, a Sonicbids gig the Foxfires recently played. He raved about the accommodations provided by the conference and shared that it was at ECMC that they met a representative of Homemade Soul, who is currently licensing The Foxfires' music.
“I feel like people don’t use these things nearly enough and then they wonder why they’re where they were a year or two years ago. Everyone wants to think they have a grip on this music industry, but it really changes from year to year, sometimes month to month.
"The conferences we’ve experienced through Sonicbids, they’ve been incredible, we’ve learned so much of what to do and what not to do from people in the industry themselves and we’ve made some really great connections and lasting friendships – people we’ve worked with time and time again.”
Adam emphasized the importance of continuously learning from industry experts at conferences like ECMC and beyond. He pointed other artists to the Sonicbids blog to discover areas they can improve, hone their craft and market themselves.
Artistically, The Foxfires are all about improving the lives of those touched by their music and being a voice for the voiceless in a pressurized political and social climate. They released "Don’t Give Up" and "Choose Love" this past Valentine’s Day, inspired by the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Both are anthems of perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds.
The Foxfires' five-year tenure has not been without obstacles. Adam shared a harrowing story of a broken hand, a lost set of guitar pedals and a broken down van in rural Wisconsin. He was grateful that this experience didn’t break them, maintaining that, “Failure is inevitable in everything, but it’s how you learn from it, it’s how you overcome, and it’s how you move forward.”
The Foxfires know from experience that staying the course is how success happens. “With this business,” Adam laughs, “there is absolutely no such thing as instant gratification."
His advice for fellow artists? Embrace streaming, Sonicbids, and singles. But beyond all else, know that it’s a long haul. Adam’s final words? You guessed it: “Don’t give up.”
What are your thoughts on facing obstacles as an artist? Let us know in the comments below!